Exclusive: Janel Parrish on ‘To All the Boys 3,’ ‘Bratz,’ Her Dream Musical, and the Creator She’d ‘Die to Work With’
Actor Janel Parrish is most-recognized for portraying Mona Vanderwaal in the mystery drama series Pretty Little Liars and its spinoff Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. However, she is known for a number of other roles, including the Netflix film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and its sequels. Parrish talked with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about the third film in the franchise, her early role that still gets attention, and her hopes for the future.
Janel Parrish is Margot Covey in ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’
Parrish portrayed Margot Covey in the first film, based on the book of the same name. Margot is the older sister of the main character, Lara Jean, who goes off to college in the movie. She breaks up with her boyfriend, Josh, who, unbeknownst to her, Lara Jean has a crush on. Despite this, she’s there for Lara Jean when a seemingly scandalous video of her goes public.
After the original was a hit, a sequel, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, was released. Margot is away at college throughout it, though she is referenced a number of times. Lara Jean volunteers at the nursing home Margot recommended to her and befriends a woman, Stormy, who Margot knew.
She’ll reprise her role in the third film
For those who missed Margot in P.S. I Still Love You, fear not. Parrish confirms that the character “will be a lot more present” in the upcoming final film of the trilogy, To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean. She filmed her scenes in mid-2019, spending two weeks with the cast in Seoul.
“There’s a lot of family time,” Parrish said of the film. “You will see some friction between Margot and Trina, our dad’s girlfriend…Margot has a hard time adjusting to another woman in her family’s life. You also may see Margot with a new beau!” She added, “The third film is such a beautiful wrap up of Lara Jean’s love story with Peter. I can’t wait for people to see it.”
Parrish also starred in ‘Bratz’
Every actor remembers their first feature film. For Parrish, that was Bratz, the 2007 musical comedy based on the popular dolls. Though she wasn’t familiar with the Bratz doll TikTok challenge that’s been popular in recent months, she does have fond memories of working on the movie.
“That is awesome to hear the film is still resonating with fans,” Parrish said. “I like to think of that film as kind of a cult classic now! I had a blast on that film and it was really my first big credit and I learned so much and made some wonderful friends.”
Her dream musical
Speaking of musicals, Parrish got her start in theater. Her role models growing up were Lea Salonga (who provided the singing voices for Jasmine in Aladdin and the titular heroine in Mulan), Barbra Steisand, and Julie Andrews, and she calls herself “a HUGE musical theater nerd.”
As for her dream project, she would love to follow in Salonga’s footsteps and star in production of Miss Saigon. Parrish says she’d also be interested in being a part of an original musical movie. She added, “I would die to work with Lin-Manuel Miranda,” calling the Hamilton creator “a genius.”